Ciarán O’Rourke – History

Ciarán O’Rourke was born in 1991 and is based in Dublin. He has won the Lena Maguire/Cúirt New Irish Writing Award, the Westport Poetry Prize, and the Fish Poetry Prize. His first collection, The Buried Breath, is available from Irish Pages Press.


History

Our one sick world spins on –
returningly, and slow –

to ease its gathered greenness
into leaf. Tonight

through tangled heat the swallows weave,
high up and fast, and out of sight.

My undistracted finger strokes
a desk-lit, wooden globe

and hears the running axis
hum beneath.

This dream-beginning
dark is all I know.

Its hand shuts round my heart,
like ice begun to thaw and flow.

Soon the only room’s
a river, in which

my swilling mind
reluctantly

resists re-writing you
an apoplectic postcard from the past,

packed in to burst
with half-accusing calotypes

of how and when I loved you most.
Young ghost

at sea, adrift, a human
spangle webbed by wind,

eyes ahead, my blue breath
climbed the swelling tide to find you:

dropped
by a daylight-furling,

freak first wave,
its fist of salt, on the sand:

stunned by the sun
in your swim-suit, laughing.

Your quick, ungainly
beauty stops me even still.

It goes like this, all reminiscence.
Made lean, remiss and rancorous

by rage (that brutal, self-forgiving war),
my every season somehow lifts

to breathe, O love, our histories
from off the brimming air.

 

 

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